The Golden Age
While this section is little more than two paragraphs long, it nevertheless should be afforded its own chapter. Undeniably, our people entered a Golden Age with the ratification of the Articles that lasted for more than a hundred years. Prosperity skyrocketed as the unified Government ably managed inter-Colonial disputes and rivalries. Sound economic policy ensured an extended period of stable growth. The peace and security provided by both the Articles and a much expanded Colonial Navy ensured safe space travel – trade had doubled between the Colonies, and more than half of the now thirty billion plus population had traveled in space at some point in their lives. Cultural and scientific achievements astounded the populace on a regular basis.
The sole blight on this record was Sagittaron. The Colony, while an avid supporter of the Articles which was seen as the guarantor of their security from further Piscean aggression, failed to achieve the spectacular growth seen in the other eleven Colonies. While Sagittaron was rebuilt rapidly after the occupation had ended (largely funded by Caprican funds channeled through the Government), the mood of optimism that pervaded everywhere else was curiously absent. This poor mood, coupled to the Colony’s shady reputation as a haven for the damp underside of humanity, deterred investment, resulting in poor economic performance. Sagitarrians, on every scale imaginable, were falling behind their brethren – the population was poorly skilled relative to other Colonials and they commanded lower wages. Sagitarrian workers were, in general, exploited and treated poorly compared to others, and the Government did little other than to apply generic and cosmetic “solutions”. By the end of the century, more than one tenth of Sagitarrians lived in poverty, a state that had been virtually eliminated from the other Colonies. It was a portent of what was to come.